Patterns of vortex ripples form when a sand bed is subjected to an oscillatory fluid flow. Here we describe experiments on the response of regular vortex ripple patterns to sudden changes of the driving amplitude a or frequency f. A sufficient decrease of f leads to a "freezing" of the pattern, while a sufficient increase of f leads to a supercritical secondary "pearling" instability. Sufficient changes in the amplitude a lead to subcritical secondary "doubling" and "bulging" instabilities. Our findings are summarized in a "stability balloon" for vortex ripple pattern formation.
Bibliographical noteCopyright (2001) American Physical Society
- Sand ripples